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Actress Judith Light has successfully tackled daytime dramas, prime time sitcoms and the New York stage. She played Angela Bower on the sitcom Who’s the Boss? and a witty alcoholic in the Broadway production Other Desert Cities.
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Judith Light was born on February 9, 1949 in Trenton, New Jersey. From 1977 to 1982, she starred on the soap opera One Life to Live. She then moved on to guest spots on several primetime series, before landing a role on Who’s the Boss?. After the show ended, she made a few attempts to return to TV. In 2002, she took on a role on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Four years later,
she landed a part on Ugly Betty. In 2012, she received a Tony Award for her role in the Broadway play Other Desert Cities.
Judith Ellen Licht was born on February 9, 1949 in Trenton, New Jersey. Now known as Judith Light, she is regarded as a versatile performer, having successfully tackled daytime dramas, primetime sitcoms and the New York stage. A graduate of Carnegie-Mellon University, Light made her Broadway debut in a 1975 revival of Henrik Ibsen??'s drama, A Doll'??s House.
Two years later, Light was on her way to becoming a darling of daytime television, as Karen Wolek on One Life to Live. From 1977 to 1982, she played a reformed prostitute, a performance that netted her two Daytime Emmy Awards. Light moved on to guest spots on several primetime series, such as St. Elsewhere and Family Ties, before landing a starring role on Who's the Boss?
On the popular sitcom, which debuted in 1984, Light played Angela Bower, a powerful advertising executive and divorced mother of one, who hired former baseball player Tony Micelli (played by Tony Danza) to be her live-in housekeeper. Much of the comedy came from their domestic situation and clashing backgrounds. Tony??'s daughter, Samantha (Alyssa Milano); Angela??'s son, Jonathan (Danny Pintauro); and Angela??'s mother, Mona (Katherine Helmond), completed the cast. Audiences really liked Light??'s portrayal of Angela—an uptight but caring career woman—and enjoyed the romantic tension between characters Angela and Tony??. The show lasted for eight seasons, finishing its run in 1992.
Following the show's end, Light starred in several television and made a few attempts to return to series television, including the short-lived 1993 show Phenom and 1998??'s The Simple Life. She returned to the stage in 1999, in the off-Broadway production of Wit. She earned strong reviews for her portrayal of university professor battling ovarian cancer, and reprised the role for the national tour.
Light didn'??t stay away from TV for too long, however. In 2002, she took on a recurring role on the hit series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, playing a sharp, tough judge. She then returned to her comedic roots in 2006, with the dramatic comedy Ugly Betty, starring America Ferrera. On the series, Light portrays Claire Meade, the much-beleaguered, highly alcoholic wife of a publishing titan.
In 2012, Light was back in the media spotlight; she received a Tony Award for best featured actress in a play, for her role as a witty alcoholic in Other Desert Cities, a Broadway production.
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In the 1980s, TV moms began juggling family life with professional careers. Phylicia Rashad played lawyer and mom to a big family on The Cosby Show, and Candace Bergen portrayed a TV news anchor who has an unplanned pregnancy out of wedlock. Judith Light played a busy, single advertising executive on Who's the Boss, and even hired a male housekeeper—who happened to be a single dad. Joanna Kerns played the much-loved mom on Growing Pains, whose husband worked from home so she could go back to working as a reporter. This bending of gender roles reflected more modern family structures, and the new choices that women faced.
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